Last night we had an awesome time with our life group and as we were closing we had this question to pray through and meditate on – what does total surrender to Jesus look like to you?
We were encouraged to ask God about the season we are in right now.
As I closed my eyes I had a memory of a cave in Indiana. It was the third cave of the trip and it featured a 30′ rappel right into its mouth. I would like to say it was just like the movies, but I haven’t seen any movies where the actor just bounces against the side of the cave and gets scraped up. Others were more successful at rappelling than I was that night. From there we hiked and climbed further down and I got to lead a couple excursions. Being the first light into the darkness is an incredible feeling. The one cavern I headed into dropped another 50′ – 60′ feet to the floor, fallen jagged rocks were every where, at the bottom was another hole going another hundred feet, and the scene would repeat over and over again.
That beauty would have remained hidden had someone not gone there, and it would have remained unknown to the world unless that person opened his mouth and shared what he or she saw in the cave.
That is where I see total surrender worked out in my life.
Some of the scariest things that I can think of aren’t the things that you can’t do anything about, but rather the ones you can do something about when God prompts you to do them. The whole goal may be impossible or outlandish, but the individual steps typically aren’t.
For example, seeing a person’s life transformed from someone living on the streets in despair to a life of gratitude, provision, and helping others in turn on your own is impossible. That said, being obedient to love the guy on the street isn’t impossible, rather, it is very possible.
Part of our call in Utah is doing impossible things through starting on the possible ones. And, when my life is in committed surrender to Jesus, He consistently calls me to impossible things.
The most possible start to almost anything God tells us to do is opening our mouths and sharing what He has told us to do with others. That is one of my greatest points of weakness. It is the point where you throw yourself into what God has said, what He has prompted you to do, and trust that He will be faithful with the rest. It may be the prompting to reach out and talk to the guy laying on the sidewalk (what will the other people think of me?) or call out the person on their morning run (what will this person think of me?), or maybe the person is obviously well out of your league (am I breaking social protocol?), or they are on their tablet siting next to you on the train, on the bus, or standing in a line (this person obviously wants their privacy…) – fear and insecurity can tag us out of obedience.
More often than not, I find that when we do throw ourselves into whatever God has told us to do He does work it out for the best. A lack of trust on either our part or on the part of the other greatly impacts the effects of our obedience, but God is faithful to back up what He has said.
The only thing that didn’t bounce against those cave walls so many years ago were the bottoms of my feet – face, hands, arms, shoulders, chest, knees all bruised – and that was because I didn’t trust the guy on the other end of the rope. Many of the dreams and hopes God has for this world remained unexplored and unheard of because we are unwilling to really trust Him in committed surrender.
If our trust falters, it gets harder, but God is still willing to take us there.
By the end of our moment of prayer at life group I had a couple of ideas of where God wanted me to go and this principle, trusting Him to communicate what He wants to do, was key to that. It also reminded me of my young heart for making stories and the desire to share those with others. So, that desire and call really has been there since I was a kid. I may go ahead and sign up for National Novel Writing Month as well – there is a project that I’d love to finish and it will be good prep for our creative writing side of the Discipleship Training School.
Looking forward to an awesome season of committed surrender!